Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Class structure ideas

These are my current thoughts on the best structure for a WCS class, these ideas are not my own, just the things I think work and why... (And I'm gonna update this when I decide I'm wrong :-)

The customers come in 3 groups.

  • Level 1 = New dancers (less than 8 weeks dancing)
  • Level 2 = first 12 months dancing...
  • Level 3 = High level Novice and Intermediates. These are the core supporters of the dance!

Level 3 are not really interested in classes, they learn at workshops and private lessons, they come to class for the social dancing and to see their friends and from loyalty to the dance.

Level 2 leads want patterns, level 2 follows want styling.  Both need and want technique to make them better social dancers.

Level 1 need to be convinced still that they want to do this thing, they need fun, music, and easy stuff and social interaction!

I think this structure fullfills these different needs the best.

  1. A 30-40 minute beginner class, aimed at fun, teaching 3-4 basic patterns and playing a track after each pattern, the secondary goal of each beginner class is to teach enough for leader and follower to survive one free style song.
  2. A 20-30 minute freestyle. The goal is to integrate the beginners into freestyle as rapidly as possible so they discover the 'fun' and become part of the group.  Idea... Offer first time dancers one on one revision at this point?
  3. A 30 minute intromediate class, teaching '2' easy but non beginner patterns, some styling, some technique. Occasionally a harder move is taught.  Anyone who's been coming more than 3 weeks is encouraged to stay for this class.  The focus is on freestyle patterns and being a better social dancer.
  4. A 60-90 minute freestyle.

  • Level 1 and Level 2, should be encouraged to attend both classes.
  • Level 3 should be encouraged to attend both free style sessions and the second class.
  • Level 2 and 3 are encouraged to seek out the new people during the first freestyle for one dance

Encouragement must be subtle, so people are making the choice themselves to help build the dance for their own altruistic reasons not from guilt or rules...
e.g. "We really appreciate it if you can try and dance with one beginner at the start of the first free style"
not "You are expected to dance with beginners now.." it's subtle but important.

  • Level 1 are happy, because they get a fun quick class, and overwhelming personal attention from the experienced dancers.
  • Level 2 are happy because they get some level 2 patterns, along with lots of free style and practice.
  • Level 3 are happy because they get lots of social dancing, and only have to live through one brief class.

Note on class length: Short classes are better than long classes, normally the rational for a long class is that it makes it seem like it's worth the money, but we should sell the 'evening' not the 'class' so it's 2-3 hours of entertainment. Not $15 for a 'class'..  I think classes between 30-35 minutes are probably ideal, leave them wanting more, and with enough energy to try what they've learned social dancing...

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